Communication Studies


Students explore the message and the medium, sender and receiver, theory and practice of human communication in all its richness and variety. From broadcast television to social networks, interpersonal communication to organizational, public relations to digital media, students in communication studies have a wide array of major, minor and career possibilities. All are knit together with emphasis on critical and innovative thinking, dynamic collaboration, scholarly and artistic achievement -- and a wealth of internship and career possibilities.

Majors and Programs

Communication studies offers majors in Broadcasting and Mass Communication, Journalism, Communication and Social Interaction, and Public Relations. A new combination BA in broadcasting/MBA benefits those entering the business side of broadcasting. The department's ties in the School of Communication, Media and the Arts ensure cross-disciplinary opportunities in Art, Theater, Film and more.

Top-notch hands-on production facilities attract many students to broadcasting, but that’s only part of the picture in a versatile, evolving and globally aware department. History and social context, message creation and analysis, and transmission and reception of speeches, news stories, broadcast programs, online conversations, corporate communications and much more help inform the study of meaning, effectiveness and communication excellence.

Student Opportunities

Hands-on learning stands front and center in communication studies, from the annual Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit to studying ancient rhetoric in Greece. Students independently produce The Oswegonian newspaper, WTOP-TV and WNYO-FM programming, and contribute skills to on-campus National Public Radio affiliate WRVO and area newspapers, television and radio stations.

Internships and study abroad opportunities abound, and can take students to MTV or ESPN, London or Madrid, small community newspapers throughout New York state or to national magazines in the Big Apple.

Students can join clubs and other organizations, from Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication studies scholarly organization, to the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Oswego emphasizes undergraduate research, and students often team with professors to present papers on campus and at regional and national conferences.


Faculty members engage in research and maintain a vibrant presence on campus through committees and service. Areas of expertise include new media, philosophy of technology, cable TV and radio production, interpersonal communication, rhetoric, women and minorities in media, news reporting and writing, public relations and community, conflict management, digital film production, health communication, mass media law, communication theory and. Adjunct faculty bring strong and current vocational practice to courses in all four majors.

In just the past several years, faculty have:

  • Co-authored books, such as Kristen Eichhorn’s Interpersonal Communication: Building Rewarding Relationhip. Publications include numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations and pieces in community publications.
  • Won an international honor when the International Communication Association's Public Relations Division bestowed its Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award on Bumsub "Gabriel" Jin for "The Roles of Public Relations and Social Capital for Communal Relationship Building: Enhancing Collaborative Values and Outcomes."
  • Earned outstanding performaceperformance awards from the college such as Jessica Reeher’s President’s Award for Excellence in Advisement, John Smith’s Chancellor’s Award for Teaching as well as several “Great Teacher” awards through students by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
  • Worked closely with students on dozens of scholarly research projects and poster presentations, including traveling to conferences such as the National Communication Associationworked closely with students on dozens of scholarly research projects and poster presentations.

Chairperson: Jennifer Knapp

Secretary: Shelly Reifke

Keyboard Specialist II: Deshawna DeBadts

Broadcasting Engineer: Patrick Moochler

Advisement Coordinator: Jessica Reeher

Area Coordinators
Broadcasting and Mass Communication: Ulises Mejias
Communication Studies: Christine Hirsch
Journalism: Arvind Diddi
Public Relations: Taejin Jung

Department Full-time Faculty
Jeff Bradbury
Arvind Diddi

Kristen Eichhorn
Jennifer Fogel
Eileen Gilligan
Christine Hirsch
Taejin Jung
Jennifer Knapp
Ulises Mejias
Patrick Moochler
David Moody
Trevor Payant
Jessica Reeher
John Smith

Jane Winslow

Jason Zenor

Department Adjunct Faculty:

Joshua Adams
Jason Becker
Sarah Bozek
Denise Casey
Jason Denny
Denise DiRiennzo
Thomas Downs
Theodore Emmanuel
Jill Ennis
Bruce Frassinelli
Steven Granelli
Gabor Hardy

Peter Hunn

Farah Jadran

Marv Kaminsky
James Lerch
Marybeth Longo
Marie Mankiewicz
Michael Masucci
Amy McHugh

Keith Meyer

Penny Morley

Tim Nekritz

Marissa Pytlak
Michael Riecke
Gary Ritzenthaler
Judith Roberts
Brenna Ryan
Woomi Shim
Natalie Shubert
Maggie Simone
Margaret Spillett

After Oswego

Effective communication is a life skill in many careers and disciplines. Communication studies has marquee alumni including NBC’s Al Roker and ESPN’s Linda Cohn and Steve Levy, cable TV pioneer Louis A. Borrelli Jr. and Mark Levy, vice president and creative director for NBC Sports and Olympics.

Thousands of graduates work in a rich mix of fields as diverse as management, education, training and development, public relations, broadcast and newspaper journalism, web publications, event planning, college student personnel, corporate communications, counseling, health, speechwriting, political communication, human resources and social marketing.